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Au Pair & Nanny Salary: How much should I pay?

There are several important factors to consider when defining the salary for your aupair or nanny. And you should know the value of what you'll get before you pay for it.

Salary is not dependent on the need of the individual, rather on the value they provide based on their experience. Different countries have different prevailing wage rates. For example, the weekly stipend for a live-in au pair as defined by the U.S. State Department's J-1 Au Pair Program is based on the FLSA, which, by the Department of Labor has determined the minimum weekly au pair stipend to be at least $195.75 for 45 hours work, inclusive of room and board, and in the UK it is less at £65-80. Compensation is negotiable depending on experience. Au Pairs and host families are free to agree upon au pair compensation that may be higher than the legally applicable federal minimum au pair stipend. Some au pairs or nannies may have experience that warrants a higher salary than the minimum required. Compensation, if not defined by your country's or state's regulations, should be earned based on demonstrated performance and current value. Note that wages may change based on economic conditions and the country in which you live.

Salaries paid to international candidates may be lower than those paid to nannies and typically set by the visa program regulations in your country. Additional information can be found on our visa information pages. If you are hiring candidates who are born in your home country, there are no visa or agency requirements. This means that the salary, job duties, hours and benefits are negotiated directly with these candidates and their employers.

» AuPair and Nanny Salary Guidelines

Important Factors Affecting Au Pair & Nanny Salaries:


Are you hiring an au pair with standard babysitting experience that requires training or are you hiring an experienced au pair or nanny that has over three years of aupair or nanny experience with 200 hours of documented infant care experience, CPR training and child care education credentials?

Total U.S. Cost Comparison - Live in or Live-Out?

Will your aupair or nanny be living in your home and will you be covering all of her food and utility costs? Possibly health insurance and car insurance? Will she travel with you on vacations as part of your family - with some free time off? This is an important point to consider since the cost of housing in most major metro areas ranges from US$13,200 to US$20,400 and up per year. Those are costs that your aupair or nanny will not have to bear if she is a live-in. So when considering the salary you plan to pay, factor in the value of room and board then add your weekly pay to come up with a realistic annualized salary. Then compare that salary to the salary of a local school teacher (who has a four-year degree) or to the salary of a daycare provider in your area. That way you will get a relative comparison of the salary for the value of the service of your aupair or nanny.

It is also important to understand your overall cost if you plan to hire your aupair through an agency. The following fees/costs are listed in US dollars and based on averages for US agencies. The costs shown do not account for supplemental expenses you will incur while having a live-in, such as food, utilities, and family vacations, etc. Prices are subject to change. See current J-1 Au Pair Program pricing.

Agency program fee $8,885
Agency application fee 15-Day Free Trial
Domestic au pair airfare cost N/A
U.S. Department of State SEVIS Fee $35
Au Pair federal minimum stipend ($195.75/week x 51 weeks) $9,983
Total annual cost $18,903
Weekly cost $364

Previous Experience

How many years of childcare experience does your aupair or nanny have? If your candidate has less than three years of experience of continuous referential employment as a child care provider, then she is at the beginning of her childcare career. Au Pairs and Host Families are free to agree upon au pair compensation that may be higher than the legally applicable federal minimum au pair stipend.

Maturity and Education Level

What is the maturity and education level of the child care provider you are hiring? Does she have a four-year college degree or a Master's Degree? The higher the education, the more you will typically pay your aupair or nanny. Your aupair or nanny will have a definite influence on your children and she will be partly responsible for their ongoing education in assisting with school work and proper grammar. Be sure you hire an aupair or nanny with the right kind of influence for your children. A four-year degree may increase the base salary up to 20 percent and a Master's Degree may increase the base salary up to 40 percent depending on practical, related experience in the field of child care.

Supply and Demand

Where you live, the number of available candidates in your area, how desirable your city is, the cost of living and the cost of childcare in your area will affect the rate you pay your aupair or nanny. In many major metro areas where the cost of living is high, there is also a high demand for qualified child care and thus the salaries for aupair and nannies tend to be competitive, which means that the costs for child care in more rural areas tend to be comparatively lower. Compared to the United States, European countries tend to pay far less for aupairs, nannies, childminders and house help. So if you live in a European country you will want to strongly weight this factor when scoring the qualifications of your aupair or nanny to determine the appropriate salary.

Many European countries limit the au pair to working no more than 20 hours a week. You can find more specific information on hours and pay by country on our visa information pages.

As an example, there are three different classifications for an aupair in the UK: Au Pair, Au Pair Plus and Mother's Help, each with varying pay depending mostly on the hours worked.

Au Pair in UK

  • Works 5 hours per day, 5 days per week
  • Baby sits 2-3 evenings per week
  • Receives 2 free days and evenings off
  • Weekly salary ranges from 70 - 80 GBP

Au Pair Plus in UK

  • Works 6 hours per day, 5 days per week
  • Baby sits 2-3 evenings per week
  • Receives 2 free days and 3 evenings off
  • Weekly salary ranges from 85 - 100 GBP

Mother's Help in UK

  • Works 8 hours per day, 6 days per week
  • Baby sits 4-5 evenings per week
  • Receives 1 free day and 3 evenings off
  • Weekly salary ranges from 150 - 200 GBP

Scope of Responsibility

Are you hiring an aupair or a nanny for part-time or full-time work? How many actual hours per week will you require their services? Do you require more than 45 hours per week? If so, the weekly salary should be adjusted accordingly. How many children will the aupair or nanny care for? If the aupair or nanny will have care for more than three children, the weekly rate should be increased by 10 percent per child. Basic services such as grocery shopping, cooking meals for the children and light housework are typically expected in the basic job description.

However, some nannies may also provide additional household management services; overseeing gardening, kitchen or cleaning staff, or even handling bills. Such services depend on the nanny's education and experience. Such services usually demand greater responsibility and specialized experience for which higher salaries are expected and deserved. Professional nannies with over five years of contiguous childcare experience and at least a four-year degree that are providing full household management services beyond child care, shopping, cooking and light housework may find salaries extending well beyond US$400 per week.

AuPair and Nanny Salary Guidelines

Check Minimum wage information for your country and state/region, and the visa pages for au pair salary information. In the US, the Fair labor standards act requires that the salary meet the Federal minimum wage and any hours worked beyond 40 hours per week be paid at time and a half. The US Au Pair Program is a federal program run under the Department of State that incorporates room and board as part of the compensation and allows au pairs to work up to 45 hours per week for the federal minimum wage, however, some states are defining their own regulations that differ from those of the US Department of State, so be sure to check your state's requirements. Some states are establishing their own Domestic Workers' bill of rights that provide additional protections. NY made history in 2010 passing the first Domestic workers bill of rights into law. Since then HI, IL, OR and CA have passed bills and as of May 2013 OH, MA, PA, and GA are putting bills forward.

Evaluate your aupair or nanny candidate based on the above-listed categories. Qualifications, Experience, Education, Geography and Responsibilities

Take into consideration scheduled work hours, job duties, education, experience, qualifications or certifications, the cost of living in your geographic location and what standard salaries are for your area. Most salaries are negotiated between the host family and candidate if there is not an established rate set by your country. Salaries do vary greatly based on country, and location within a country, so be sure to adjust salary ranges accordingly.

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